After the North loses the War of Southern Secession, money buys power in the Magnocracy, and people can disappear in a blink. War veteran Donovan Schist's specialty is finding these missing persons. There isn't much money in it, but he sleeps a little better.
This time, Donovan is looking for a girl named Bridget Cleary. Her family's had no word from her for months. Donovan's certain he'll find her belly-up, but it seems her talent for analytical machines has made her a valuable asset to the powers that be - an asset that they're determined to keep hidden and out of reach.
In over his head, Donovan enlists his friend Verhalen to help. The eccentric inventor may be unstable, but his steam-powered gadgets give Donovan the edge.
Donovan's no stranger to the rougher edges of society, but when the usual threats turn to attacks on his life, it quickly becomes clear that someone very important does not want him to find Bridget Cleary...
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Fun Noir, Steampunk a Plus
The narrator was excellent. Just enough toughness to pull off the narrator but not so much to become a caricature.
His constant run ins with Moira (his wife with whom he share a troubled 'marriage') and the final scene all have stuck with me long after hearing this story.
I have not but will look for them in the future.
Steam always rises to the top. I object to this question for making me look silly.
My main concern is about the length of the story and how it gets rushed near the end. While I didn't really care much about the central mystery (who ever does in good noir?) I would have liked to actually have a seen with Moira speaking or just something to build to a bigger climax than what's there.
I love the work!
- Paul D. Singleton "Men's Minister - Hardcore Christian Men"